According to a report in The Times, Japan’s government has decided that the Tokyo Olympic Games cannot take place and the country will set its sites on bidding for the next available Games in 2032.
According to the Times reporting, the Japanese government is now trying to “find a face-saving way of announcing the cancellation that leave open the possibility of Tokyo playing host at a later date.”
Tokyo and some surrounding areas have been in a lockdown since Jan. 7 due to a surge in COVID-19 cases. Recent polls suggest that 80 percent of the population are against the country hosting the Games in the midst of the pandemic.
Last year Canada was one of the first countries to declare that it wouldn’t be sending teams to the Olympics and Paralympics, making the announcement on March 23, 2020.
David Shoemaker, the Chief Executive Officer and Secretary General of the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC), sent out a series of tweets regarding the reports, saying that the COC has not received any official information from the Japanese government and that Canada will “continue in our preparation to participate at Tokyo 2020 with a focus on the health and safety of our athletes, their families, and their communities.”
The Japanese government has privately concluded that the Tokyo Olympics will have to be cancelled because of the coronavirus, and the focus is now on securing the Games for the city in the next available year, 2032 https://t.co/bsuB9wMt30
— The Times (@thetimes) January 21, 2021
On Jan. 22, the head of the International Olympic Committee and local organizers pushed back against reports that the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be cancelled. A statement from the IOC reads: “Some news reports circulating today are claiming that the Government of Japan has privately concluded that the Tokyo Olympics will have to be cancelled because of the coronavirus. This is categorically untrue. At an IOC Executive Board meeting in July last year, it was agreed that the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 would be held on July 23 this year, and the programme and venues for the Games were rescheduled accordingly.”
Canadians Sean McColl and Alannah Yip are among 40 international climbers hoping to compete in this summer’s Olympics. Athletes will only be hoping for an answer sooner rather than later so that they have the most time possible to train for the combined climbing event.
IOC statement on media reports regarding Tokyo 2020 pic.twitter.com/647pj5mx9U
— IOC MEDIA (@iocmedia) January 22, 2021